Contact(s): Kari Lee-Zimmermann, DNR and Conservation Congress liaison, 608-266-0580, Kari.LeeZimmermann@wisconsin.gov; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, Jennifer.Sereno@wisconcsin.gov
MADISON - Hearings that offer citizens and stakeholders the opportunity to help guide natural resource management in Wisconsin get underway in all 72 Wisconsin counties [PDF] at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 10.
The spring fish and wildlife hearings are held in conjunction with annual county Conservation Congress meetings and feature nonbinding votes and testimony on proposed rule changes as well as advisory topics relating to fish and wildlife management. The spring hearing questionnaire [PDF] and details on all county meeting locations can be found by searching the Department of Natural Resources website for keywords "spring hearings."
This year, the ballot contains 88 questions regarding new hunting season dates for some game species, revised daily bag and length limits for some sportfish and new options for deer herd management. Six proposals focus on simplifying historic and likely outdated regulations. There are also questions related to invasive or exotic species, refuges and more.
Key DNR fisheries proposed rule changes include:
Key DNR wildlife proposed rule changes include:
The questionnaire also includes Wisconsin Conservation Congress advisory items, with questions 85-88 focused on additional management tools to help County Deer Advisory Councils in maintaining or decreasing the deer population in their counties.
In addition to answering the spring hearing questions, county residents have the option to run for a seat on the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, or elect other delegates from their county to represent local views regarding natural resources on the Conservation Congress. The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is the only advisory body in the state where citizens elect delegates to represent their interests on natural resources issues on a local and statewide level to the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources.
The meeting format allows individuals the opportunity to raise new conservation ideas or issues through the citizen resolution process.
Meeting results, along with written comments on the evening's questions and DNR recommendations are used to advise the state Natural Resources Board. Votes are nonbinding and are presented to the Natural Resources Board as advisory.